Document Type


Publication Date

October 2019


In their recent book Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne describe the 2018 Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal as a Three Mile Island moment for data stewardship. After years of sharing personal data without much thought about how it might be used or abused, the public is now becoming more aware of the need for clearer responsibilities and rights related to the collection, processing, and dissemination of personal information. “Data has always been important to society,” Smith and Browne point out, but “it has never played the role it does today … every aspect of human life is fueled by data.” Data about the details of our lives, the economy, and the physical world provide the foundation for our emerging information and technological environment. And with artificial intelligence, they add, “we’re doing more with data than ever before.”This primer and panel will explore ethical and legal issues associated with the values and vulnerabilities of personal, economic, and public data. The speaker and panelists will provide an orientation to major concerns, such as property and privacy rights, and present insights into the current legal and policy landscape related to data.